The Nacreous Oughts

23 July 2004

"The Prisoner

I walked along the winding road;
It was high summer; on one side
Behind pale foliage sinuously flowed
The hand-sown wheat in rustling pride.

Grey sprawling stone, before me towered the school;
I touched the chapel-corner through the hedge,
Traced dimly in the window's painted pool
Three mitres and the shield with rope and wedge.

Deep peace! Yet there was panic terror shut inside;
The bronze bells rolled and reeled in flowing tide.
Against that shock time buckled to resist,
And no sound pierced the loneliness, no voices cried;
Only the great towers trembled in the pouring mist."

Charles Spear

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